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World> Regions> Asia-Pacific
UPDATED: March 31, 2012 NO. 14 APRIL 5, 2012
A Secure Nuclear Future
Seoul summit brings world together on nuclear security
By Ding Ying

From 1993 to 2011, the IAEA received reports of 2,164 cases of illegal trading of nuclear materials or radioactive materials, about 120 cases every year on average. Qu said there were more similar cases throughout the world that have never been reported. More international efforts should be made to strike illegal cross-border nuclear material trading, he said.

A sensible approach

Being an emerging economy with high energy demand, China will continue to develop nuclear power for civilian use and improve nuclear power-related technologies, experts said. At the same time, it should also join international efforts to protect nuclear security.

China has taken active steps to enhance nuclear security and made substantive achievements in recent years. According to the National Progress Report on Nuclear Security China released during the Seoul summit, China has cooperated with the IAEA, the United States and other countries in conducting 20 training courses and seminars for more than 500 nuclear security workers since April 2010.

The report said China and the United States are jointly constructing the Center of Excellence on Nuclear Security in Beijing. The IAEA and Canada have also expressed interest in participating in its construction. It said authorities have already finished assessing security systems at operational nuclear power plants all over the country.

In his speech at the summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao stated China's stance on nuclear security and the future development of nuclear energy.

Stressing that the common goal of universal nuclear security can only be achieved with concerted efforts of all countries, Hu put forward a four-point proposal on enhancing nuclear security:

- following a scientific and sensible approach to nuclear security and boosting confidence in the development of nuclear energy;

- strengthening nuclear security capacity building and living up to national responsibility for ensuring nuclear security;

- deepening international exchanges and cooperation and improving nuclear security around the world; and

- taking a comprehensive approach and addressing both the symptoms and root causes of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.

"China is a nuclear state with advanced nuclear technologies. President Hu's calls for a 'scientific and sensible approach to nuclear security' are important for boosting the world's confidence about the development of nuclear energy," said Li Hong, Secretary General of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.

China plans to expand its nuclear power capacity to 80 million kilowatts by 2020. By then, non-fossil energy will account for 15 percent of the country's primary energy consumption, as compared to 8.9 percent in 2011.

In light of its ambitious nuclear power development plan, safeguarding nuclear security serves China's own interests, Li said. Moreover, it should promote international cooperation in nuclear security by sharing its experience with others, providing personnel training on nuclear security and helping other nuclear states to convert highly enriched uranium reactors to low enriched uranium ones.


"China will, as always, push for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, abide by the policy of not being the first to use nuclear weapons, be committed to the international nuclear non-proliferation efforts, support the right of countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy."

                                                                                     —Chinese President Hu Jintao

"What we did in Washington and what we do in Seoul will be part of a larger global architecture designed to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism and pursuing peaceful uses of nuclear technology."

—U.S. President Barack Obama

"We are all in the same boat, heading in the same direction. We have an obligation to ensure peace, security and happiness for our children and the future generations."

—South Korean President Lee Myung Bak

"In spite of what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, the majority of countries are aware that nothing can substitute for nuclear power technology."

—Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

"All of us gathered here today have a responsibility to share with each other our knowledge and lessons learned from the disaster (in Fukushima), to cooperate together, and to use our resources effectively so as to hand over today's security and prosperity to our future generations."

—Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda

Email us at: dingying@bjreview.com

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